7 Things: Up to 240,000 could die in coronavirus pandemic, WH task force explains China’s role in spreading the virus, Alabama legislature looks forward and more …
7. Seattle to investigate racial slurs
- In response to increased racism toward Asian-Americans since the start of the coronavirus, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best has told people to call 911 to “Report hate, including racist name-calling” and police “will respond to investigate.”
- Best said that they “will document and investigate every reported hate crime,” adding that even if people are unsure “if a hate crime occurred, call 911.”
6. SEC has canceled spring meetings
- The spring meetings for the SEC that were planned for the end of May have been canceled. The meetings have commonly been used for rule changes for the upcoming seasons, and coaches and administrators regularly attend.
- The SEC said in a release that they will continue to “determine alternate methods for holding meetings important to conference operations and explore opportunities to recognize award winners who [were to be] honored at the event.”
5. Abortions allowed during a pandemic, but nothing else is
- Despite the State Health Order to ban all elective or unnecessary medical procedures, a U.S. District judge has ruled that abortions still need to be provided during the coronavirus pandemic.
- This ruling came after the American Civil Liberties Union challenged Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s suggestion that all clinics should close and medical staff and supplies should go elsewhere.
4. This is the worst quarter for the market ever
- The coronavirus outbreak has significantly impacted the stock market, and now the Dow Jones Industrial Average has seen its worst first quarter in 124 years, dropping 23.2% in the first quarter of this year.
- This was also the worst overall quarter for the Dow since the market crash of 1987, and the S&P 500 has seen its worst overall quarter since 2008.
3. Alabama legislature meets, then adjourns
- Both the Alabama State House and State Senate met Tuesday and then agreed to meet at a later date when it is safer to do so. Some members wore masks and other protective gear on the floor and kept their distance while huddled into groups discussing state business.
- When the legislature returns they will have two areas of focus, according to State Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) and Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia): economic stimulus and “bare-bones” budgets.
2. WH task force attempts to help the media understand China
- During questioning from reporters to the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Deborah Birx highlighted how China’s disinformation hindered the United States’ response because they “were missing a significant amount of the data” from China. Birx added that the data from Spain and Italy tell a more accurate picture.
- Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session called for a total reset of our relationship with China, saying, “America must now fundamentally reset our relationship with China. This is no time for half-measures or a slap on the wrist. This Chinese-made global health crisis should be a wake-up call. China is lying and people are dying. Enough is enough.”
1. “Painful two weeks”
- In a rather grim press conference, President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force said the nation is on track to see between 100,000 and up to 240,000 deaths.
- Trump appeared to be attempting to set expectations and show the nation the worst-case scenario, saying, “I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead. We’re going to go through a very tough two weeks.”
7 Things: Ivey urges people to stay ‘safe at home’, Democrats continue abortion obsession, more ventilators and more …
7. Letting prisoners out because of the coronavirus
- In a letter, Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee requested that due to the coronavirus, Attorney General William Barr “release as many prisoners as possible.” This comes after the first coronavirus death of a federal prisoner.
- Those who sent the letter include U.S. Representatives Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Karen Bass (D-CA). At first, the letter specifically asks Barr “release medically-compromised, elderly and pregnant prisoners,” but then goes on to say “as many as possible.”
6. Private industry is fighting the coronavirus, too
- Multiple corporate entities have announced that they will be making products that will help in dealing with the supply-chain issues that are affecting the fight against the coronavirus.
- 3M is making more masks, MyPillow has converted a factory to make cloth masks, as is Under Armour, GM and Ford are making ventilators. All of this is in addition to the massive medical leaps being made in testing.
5. America buying more ventilators
- The Pentagon is buying 8,000 ventilators from Hamilton Medical, VyAire Medical, Zoll Medical Corp and Combat Medical Systems. It’ll cost $84.4 million, with 1,400 ventilators being delivered by May.
- President Donald Trump has already compelled General Motors to make ventilators through the Defense Production Act. There are about 153,000 coronavirus cases worldwide and almost 3,000 deaths.
4. UAB preparing to test a coronavirus vaccine
- The University of Alabama at Birmingham is working to start preclinical testing of one of the potential coronavirus vaccines, which will begin first with mice.
- This first step in testing the potential vaccine is important for there to be human testing later this year, which will be done by Altimmune Inc. based in Maryland.
3. Even the pandemic is about abortion
- The American Civil Liberties Union is representing a doctor in Huntsville who provides abortion care and three clinics and is challenging the Alabama Department of Public Health order that would suspend all non-emergency medical procedures.
- According to the court filing, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall will not clarify “the scope of the order other than to make plain that in its view some — and perhaps most — abortions are not permitted.” Currently, abortion clinics in the state have to close down to comply with the health order and reschedule any procedures for a later date.
2. Projection puts Alabama’s coronavirus deaths at 1,700
- A few weeks ago, irresponsible members of Alabama media promoted the idea that 25,000 (or 97,000) Alabamians could die because of the coronavirus, but a new study vastly downplays those numbers to 1,700, with the state expected to see 57 death at its peak on April 20.
- The numbers were always a worst-case scenario, but there seems to be some thought that says restrictions on movement and social distancing is leading to fewer fevers, a leading indicator, and fewer hospitalizations.
1. Ivey asking people to socially distance, still hasn’t issued a statewide lockdown
- Governor Kay Ivey has released a video where she urges people to “please consider staying safe at home,” but she is yet to issue a statewide lockdown.
- Ivey also clarifies in the video that staying home means avoiding contact with other people, not using it as an opportunity to catch up with friends. This video comes just after President Donald Trump has approved the State of Emergency for Alabama.
7 Things: Trump extends social distancing to April 30, bleak outlook with the coronavirus ahead, Rogers wants medical equipment manufacturing done in America and more …
7. Trump handling of the economy and favorability hit all-time highs
- Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump are locked in a dead heat, according to a new poll, but that poll also shows there has been a “rally around the flag” moment for President Trump with the president receiving his highest average approval rating (47%) and rating on the economy (57%) of his presidency.
- Granted, the approval numbers are not great, but he has never been able to get great approval from Democrats, including when he was a candidate. It also doesn’t help that the mainstream media have been on a mission to destroy his presidency from day one.
6. Florida stopping people from coming in
- In an effort to crack down on travel to Florida and slow the spread of the coronavirus, there have been checkpoints set up on the state line, including Alabama’s border with Florida.
- At checkpoints, people will have to provide the address of where they intend to quarantine themselves for two weeks. Florida has also stopped vacation rentals for at least two weeks due to the number of people who were going to the state because of coronavirus lockdowns.
5. Alabama could be getting medical supplies from South Korea and Apple
- On behalf of Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed, the Hyundai Motor Corporation is requesting that the South Korean government send medical supplies to Alabama to assist in fighting the coronavirus.
- Governor Kay Ivey has announced that Alabama healthcare providers have received 63,000 masks from Apple to help in the coronavirus outbreak.
4. China is still lying
- While the American media is cheering the fact that America now leads the world in reported cases of the coronavirus, U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) reminds the world that the Chineses government lied when all of this started and is still lying now.
- Senator Cotton made it clear, and minced no words, saying, “The Chinese Communist Party is still lying.” He added, “They say they’ve only had 2,500 cases that resulted in deaths or so, yet a single mortuary has ordered more than 5,000 urns. You can look at these basic facts to know that the Chinese Communist Party is still lying today, as they were in December and January, and that’s why what could have been a local problem in Wuhan turned into a global pandemic from which more than 2,000 Americans have now died”
3. Rogers wants more medical equipment made in America
- U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-Saks) has come forward with the idea that the United States needs to be producing 50% of “personal protective equipment, medical devices that we use in this country” domestically.
- Rogers has argued that this would be a measure we could take so that we aren’t reliant on China, reasoning, “They literally own the marketplace for a lot of this medical equipment, personal protective equipment and devices.”
2. Dr. Fauci thinks there could be 100,000 deaths
- Director for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci was on CNN on Sunday to discuss the coronavirus in the United States, and Fauci said they don’t have a “firm idea” about how the virus could grow in America.
- Fauci went on to say that he thinks there will be 100,000 to 200,000 deaths and millions of coronavirus cases in the country but added that “it’s such a moving target that you could so easily be wrong and mislead people.” There are currently serious problems in New York and New Orleans.
1. Social distancing guidelines extended until April 30
- With 140,000+ instances of the coronavirus and 2,400 deaths in the United States thus far, President Donald Trump has announced that he is keeping his proposed social distancing guideline in place another month, saying, “Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before victory is won. It’s very important that everybody strongly follow the guidelines.”
- The state of Alabama has seen as many as 10 coronavirus deaths, with four confirmed by the Alabama Department of Public Health, in 827 cases across the state.
VIDEO: Shelter-in-place, $2.2 trillion in stimulus, Sessions wants China held responsible and more on Alabama Politics This Week
Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:
— Should Alabama join other states by issuing a shelter-in-place order?
— Will the $2.2 trillion stimulus deal hold off a total economic collapse?
— Former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions wants to hold China responsible for its role in the spreading of the coronavirus. Will they pay a price?
Jackson and Handback are joined former Chairman of the Madison County Commission Dale Strong to discuss his county’s preparedness for the coronavirus pandemic.
Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at Governor Kay Ivey asking her to call for a shelter-in-place-order because we all know it is coming eventually.
Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.
7 Things: Public schools not meeting for rest of the school year, unemployment explodes everywhere, calls for shelter-in-place order rise and more …
7. UAB is working on a coronavirus treatment
- The National Institution of Health-sponsored global clinical trials will now include the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
- A professor of at UAB in the Division of Infectious Disease said that the drug “Remdesivir worked well in the test tube and animal models against a close relative of COVID-19.” This trial will be conducted in 75 different sites globally.
6. Democrats are mad illegals aren’t getting stimulus funds
- In the stimulus package passed by the U.S. Senate, American citizens who file taxes individually are to receive $1,200 and those who file jointly will receive $2,400, but any nonresident immigrants in the country don’t qualify for benefits from the stimulus package.
- U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) took to Twitter to voice her displeasure with the stimulus package, saying, “What Trump + Senate GOP have done is hold hospitals, working people, and the vulnerable hostage so they could get in $500 billion (that will be leveraged into $4T) in corporate welfare.”
5. Cam Ward still wants to see prison reform
- With the coronavirus bringing meetings in the Alabama legislature to a halt, it may be more difficult to get business done in the state, but State Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) still wants to see prison reform in this legislative session.
- Ward has described the issues with the prison system as “urgent,” and he’s said that we “could see a situation where we come back in the first of May” and working until May 18. He added “a lot of the bills are still in position that if we came in, they’re one step closer to passing. I think we can do it still.”
4. Trump is changing the rules
- President Donald Trump said that the social distancing guidelines could change based on a county’s risk of the coronavirus. In a letter sent to governors, Trump said, “There is still a long battle ahead, but our efforts are already paying dividends.”
- Trump also said that some of this will rely on expanding testing, which will “enable us to publish criteria, developed in close coordination with the Nation’s public health officials and scientists, to help classify counties with respect to continued risks posed by the virus.”
3. Many believe Alabama needs to shelter-in-place
- With 500+ coronavirus cases and growing, Governor Kay Ivey has said that there are no current plans for a shelter-in-place order across the state, but now Democrats like Alabama House of Representatives Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) are calling for a statewide lockdown.
- State Representative Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) tweeted, “If nothing is done, someone will lose his or her life not because of the virus, but because our hospitals will not have the resources available to save them.” U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) has said that state officials need to enact “stringent measures” to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
2. Unemployment has skyrocketed in Alabama
- Since Sunday, 48,191 people in Alabama have filed for unemployment, and by comparison, only 5,819 Alabamians filed for unemployment in all of February.
- Even during the worst week of the 2007-2009 recession, Alabama saw 20,894 unemployment claims filed, and the United States Department of Labor has reported 3.28 million unemployment claims last week.
1. Schools closed for the rest of the school year but instruction isn’t over
- Governor Kay Ivey has announced that with the coronavirus continuing to spread throughout the state, K-12 schools need to come up with a plan for “alternative methods of instruction as established by the State Superintendent of Education” by April 6 to finish out the school year.
- Not going back to the classroom had already been recommended by Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth, who said that the coronavirus is a “serious situation and calls for serious measures,” and there are several other states in the country that have opted to keep schools closed for the remainder of the academic year.
7 Things: Alabama has its first coronavirus death, coronavirus stimulus package passes, Alabama’s hospital availability a concern and more …
7. Lawmakers want to hold China accountable
- U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) and U.S. Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) have introduced a piece of legislation to demand an investigation into the Chinese response to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the world.
- If passed, the resolution would look into China’s decision to hide details of the disease during the early days of the outbreak. Meanwhile, the United States is holding up a Security Council resolution at the United Nations by demanding they declare China as the origin of the illness.
6. University of South Alabama students are coming home
- A group of students from the University of South Alabama have been stranded in Peru due to the coronavirus outbreak, but U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) has announced that the students are coming back to the states.
- The students were stuck in Peru when borders were closed on March 17, and Byrne said that he’s “thankful to all who worked so hard to ensure this positive outcome.”
5. Republicans want the economy considered
- U.S. Representative Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) has come out saying that the economy needs to be considered when coronavirus precautions are taken, saying, “[A]s we look beyond the crisis, we must consider that the economic damage could cripple the country.”
- Aderholt also said that he hopes the timeline of people getting back to work will be “weeks not months.” U.S. Rep Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) agreed in a radio interview that a good economy was only on pause until the spread of the virus is contained, adding that “once we get past this the economy is going to rebound.”
4. Legislative meetings might as well be postponed officially
- Today, the Alabama House of Representatives was supposed to continue its legislative session, but due to the coronavirus outbreak, meetings have been postponed and it’s unclear when things will resume as the Alabama Senate is on spring break until at least March 31.
- Technically, Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon will be there to carry out the meeting, but no business can be conducted without at least 53 members in attendance and everyone has been told to stay home. It’s expected McCutcheon will announce plans for future meetings on Tuesday, and the Senate is expected to make a decision on meetings the same day.
3. Alabama hospitals don’t have a ton of availability
- Alabama Hospital Association CEO and President Don Williams said that during the coronavirus outbreak, “If we’re lucky, hospitals may be slammed but they’ll remain within their capacity.”
- Alabama has 14,790 hospital beds, and usually, 75% of those beds are full on a normal day. Williams said that they “have to prepare for the worst-case scenario and hope that doesn’t happen.”
2. The $2.2 trillion economic stimulus for the coronavirus pandemic passes the Senate
- The bill passed after Republicans called out a “major drafting error” in unemployment benefits in the coronavirus stimulus package, and now U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is saying that he’ll “put a hold on this bill” if Republicans don’t “drop their objections,” but it passed anyway.
- Misgivings on both sides over particular issues were ignored and the 880-page bill passed unanimously. It now moves to the House.
1. Jackson County courthouse employee is Alabama’s first coronavirus death
- A part-time Jackson County courthouse employee who did not have regular contact with the public is Alabama’s first death, but will likely not be the last death with an Alabama connection. None of her coworkers have experienced any symptoms.
- Lt Gov. Will Ainsworth wants to make sure Alabamians are taking the outbreak seriously, saying, “This is a serious situation and is becoming more and more threatening everyday. It WILL spread exponentially in the future and we must slow it down now. Everyone MUST follow the orders given and practice social distancing to protect lives. “
7 Things: Coronavirus stimulus approved, Trump hopes to open up country again soon, no shelter-in-place order for Alabama and more …
7. Mobile struggling to get people to actually practice social distancing
- With the coronavirus in the United States, many states have ordered people to stay home. In Alabama, many cities are trying to get people to distance themselves from others as much as possible, but Mobile is struggling to get citizens to stay away from crowds.
- Mobile City Councilman Fred Richardson said that he’s seen public parks “packed out,” and he’s said that if they “don’t come up with something, we’ll be fighting this virus next year.” The city council has voted to adopt a resolution to prohibit congregating.
6. Saban wants you to stay home
- A public service announcement featuring University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban to let people know that they need to “wash your hands often, stay at home if at all possible” and to stay at least six feet away from people in public.
- These recommendations have been made by the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Saban ended the message reassuring people that “we will get through these difficult times.”
5. Birmingham ordered to shelter-in-place
- Birmingham City Council has voted to order citizens to shelter-in-place by request of Mayor Randall Woodfin, with Jefferson County having at least 90 of the 215 cases of coronavirus in Alabama.
- The order will remain in effect until April 3, but it notes, “Those purposes include work; visiting essential businesses like grocery stores, financial institutions and gas stations; retrieving curbside pickup from restaurants.” This is a little different than what most are doing already but not following it could get you 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
4. Majority approves of how Trump has handled coronavirus
- A new Gallup poll shows that a majority of Americans approve of how President Donald Trump has handled the coronavirus outbreak, with 60% approving.
- If split into parties, 94% of Republicans approve of Trump’s handling of the virus and 27% of Democrats approve. Trump’s overall approval rating is at 49%.
3. No shelter-in-place order for Alabama, according to Ivey
- Governor Kay Ivey and Alabama Department of Public Health’s Dr. Scott Harris answered questions over a conference call about the coronavirus in Alabama, and Ivey said that there are no plans as of right now to put out a “shelter-in-place” order for the state.
- Ivey stressed that “we are not California, we’re not New York, we aren’t even Louisiana,” adding that she’s focusing on keeping the state’s “economy going as much as possible while we take extraordinary measures to keep everyone healthy and safe.”
2. Trump hopes to open the country back up by Easter
- While in an interview with Fox News’ Bill Hemmer, President Donald Trump discussed the coronavirus and said that getting people back to work is “absolutely possible” by Easter, but that things like social distancing, not shaking hands and washing your hands would have to continue, though.
- Trump also discussed the possible long term effects that a shutdown could cause, saying that some people could “lose their jobs maybe to never get them back” and that people “are going to lose their businesses never to get them back.” He added, “The cure is worse than the problem.”
1. Stimulus deal is finally reached
- A $2 trillion stimulus deal has been struck between the White House and congressional leaders to provide stimulus to a battered American economy. The hope is that it will stop businesses from firing workers and will give confidence to the American people.
- Included in the package is $1,200 for most citizens, an additional $500 per each child, $500 billion for loan distressed companies, $50 billion for airlines, four months of unemployment benefits (including the self-employed). The deal also allows the Small Business Administration to serve as a guarantor for loans of up to $10 billion so they can pay payrolls and debts. Additionally, the bill provides $130 billion for hospitals and $150 billion for state and local governments that are cash-strapped due to their response to the coronavirus.
7 Things: Pelosi kills coronavirus stimulus again, Doug Jones ’embarrassed’, Alabama’s coronavirus data and more …
7. 2020 Olympics postponed to 2021
- Due to the coronavirus, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided to delay the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, until 2021.
- Details have not been decided yet, but Dick Pound of the IOC stated, “[T]he Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
6. State Tax Day pushed
- Governor Kay Ivey has announced that Alabama’s state tax day will follow the federal tax day and be pushed back to July 15.
- Ivey says that this move is to help “reduce the burden upon Alabamians and get folks back on their feet financially. The safety and wellbeing of Alabamians is the paramount priority as we do everything within our power to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus.”
5. Absentee ballots accepted for runoff
- Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill is emphasizing that absentee ballots will be accepted for the postponed runoff date of July 14.
- Merrill brought this up for those who are concerned about the coronavirus. The deadline to register to vote in the runoff is June 29.
4. Trump floats lifting “restrictions”
- Nationwide restrictions over the coronavirus have hit the economy very hard, and with one week left in the initial round of restrictions, President Donald Trump is signaling that he really wants to “reopen the economy.” He said, “This is a medical problem. We are not going to let it turn into a long-lasting financial problem.”
- The media and their Democrats have reacted to this notion with absolute attacks, op-eds and dishonesty while there has been no directive, and Trump’s suggestions have absolutely no teeth. However, the entire premise of Trump’s comments is that we can’t shut down the American economy for months and he will look at lessening the restrictions in some areas while leaving them on in other places.
3. Coronavirus numbers
- Alabama Department of Public Health’s Dr. Scott Harris held a press conference to address the state of the coronavirus, saying that a majority of cases are still in Jefferson County, followed by Shelby, Madison and Lee counties.
- By the numbers, about 53% of patients are male, patients range from ages 2-97, roughly 7% of those are hospitalized with some in the ICU, and there are currently 17 coronavirus testing sites throughout the state, but they’re working to have 25 open by the end of the week.
2. Jones flip-flopped
- U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) initially voted to block the coronavirus relief package and then within 24 hours changed his vote to support the legislation. Jones is the sole U.S. Senator breaking from his Democrat colleagues.
- Originally, Jones sided with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) after she came out opposing the bill, but Jones has claimed that he was “embarrassed” about the partisan arguing over the bill.
1. Democrats want to weaponize the coronavirus stimulus package
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) voiced opposition to the coronavirus stimulus package and then released her own that included many unrelated items such as paying off $10,000 of student debt per person, bringing back the “Obamaphone” program, diversity mandates, climate change, voting rules and mandating airlines to reduce carbon emissions.
- The legislation would also prevent colleges from giving citizenship status information and forgiving the U.S. Postal Service debt. National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Michael McAdams said, “People are dying and all Nancy Pelosi and Democrats can focus on is ripping off the American taxpayer to help pay for their liberal wish list of government handouts.”
7 Things: Alabama ramping up restrictions, coronavirus stimulus debate continues, Ivey prepares the Alabama National Guard and more …
7. Delayed runoff could help Jeff Sessions
- Before the coronavirus delayed the Alabama primary runoff, former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville had gained momentum and was polling just ahead of former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session, but political observers think the runoff being delayed could favor Sessions.
- Former political science professor Jess Brown said, “If I’m Tuberville, I wish the election was yesterday.” U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne’s (R-Fairhope) U.S. Senate campaign manager Seth Morrow has predicted that both campaigns will stop advertising for a bit, reasoning, “People are not paying attention to this.”
6. Rand Paul diagnosed with coronavirus
- U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) will remain in quarantine as he has been diagnosed with the coronavirus. A statement put out by Paul’s staff says he’s “asymptomatic” and is “not aware of any direct contact with an infected person.”
- Due to his contact with Paul, U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) will be self-quarantining for the next two weeks. Claims have been made that Paul went to the gym after learning his diagnosis, but his staff has deemed those claims “false & irresponsible.”
5. Small businesses can receive assistance in Alabama
- Small businesses and non-profits in Alabama are eligible for benefits under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan, as announced by Governor Kay Ivey.
- This will hopefully assist small businesses that have seen a major drop in business due to the coronavirus. Ivey said, “Small businesses represent the backbone of Alabama’s economy, and many of them need immediate help in these trying times.”
4. Travel restrictions and social distancing are helping
- The United States is and will continue to be impacted by the coronavirus, but National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said that travel restrictions with China will help the United States from seeing a situation as severe as Italy.
- Fauci did say that he wasn’t sure why the virus has been so bad in Europe, but explained, “One of the things that we did very early and very aggressively, the president put the travel restriction coming from China to the United States and most recently from Europe to the United States.” He also mentioned that the social distancing efforts seen in the country are helping.
3. Ivey has readied the National Guard
- Governor Kay Ivey has authorized the activation of 100 members of the Alabama National Guard in the event that their service is necessary during the coronavirus pandemic.
- According to Ivey’s release, she authorized this in the event that “our first responders and health care providers need additional support.”
2. Congress fails to reach agreement on bill that could reach $2 trillion
- Democratic leadership has worked to block a bipartisan aid bill because they believe they can gain more of their goals by holding up the bill. Some Democrats are admitting this is happening for political reasons and this all hinges on a “sign-off” from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) previously noted this deal needs to get done, but the vote failed with five members of his caucus self-quarantining because the “coronavirus is in the Senate.” Democrats insist they will not vote for the current bill and the market will react negatively to that news.
1. You can be fined for violating health orders
- Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office has informed law enforcement officials on how they can enforce health orders during the coronavirus pandemic, in which some of the orders include no gatherings of more than 25 people.
- Those found knowingly and willingly violating health orders could be charged with a misdemeanor and fined up to $500. Expect the authorities’ aggressiveness to be ramped up in the next few days.
VIDEO: Jeff Sessions talks China and the coronavirus, economic stimulus, Ivey postpones the runoff and more on Alabama Politics This Week
Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:
— Are Alabamians ready to deal with the coronavirus?
— What kind of stimulus would actually help people who need it?
— Why did Governor Kay Ivey delay the primary runoff election?
Jackson and Handback are joined former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to discuss President Donald Trump’s reaction to the coronavirus, trade with China and Governor Kay Ivey moving the primary election runoff.
Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at people who want to quibble over the people noting the origins of the Chinese coronavirus to call the president a “racist.”
Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.
7 Things: Ivey trying to ‘flatten the curve’, coronavirus could get you paid, more drive-thru testing and more …
7. Beaches are closing
- On Friday, all public Alabama beaches closed at 7:00 a.m. due to large crowds that were still gathering amid the coronavirus outbreak. Florida has not issued a similar order, but several beaches will be shut down as well.
- Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft said that they’re hoping to have the beaches reopen on April 6, but their goal is “to protect our local citizens who are scared to death but also to protect the public that comes here.”
6. U.S. Senators dumped stock after learning of the coronavirus outbreak
- As many as four lawmakers are accused of selling off stocks that would be impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. The report names U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA) and James Inhofe (R-OK).
- Burr sold his stocks after he wrote a Fox News op-ed saying the United States was “better prepared than ever before to face emerging public health threats.” and Loeffler and her husband reportedly sold the stocks on January 24, which was the exact day she was in a Senate Health Committee received a briefing about the coronavirus from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Dr. Anthony Fauci from the National Institutes of Health.
5. Sessions wants a debate
- With the Alabama runoff primary being delayed until July, there’s even more time for a debate between U.S. Senate candidates Jeff Sessions and Tommy Tuberville, and Sessions is making it known that he wants a debate.
- Tuberville has been polling ahead of Sessions, but Sessions is focusing on the issues, saying, “Maybe he can learn a few things between now and July. But we’ve got some issues to ask about — something that a United States Senator has to be able to do and know.”
4. Amazon still hiring
- As a shutdown of the American economy brings havoc to workers, the Amazon facility in Bessemer is on its way to fulfill its 1,500-job requirement by looking to hire 600 more people.
- Once the facility is running at full capacity, Amazon is expecting to put out about 100,000 orders a day.
3. Huntsville the latest community to get coronavirus drive-thru testing
- Friday, the first drive-thru testing for coronavirus will open in Huntsville at the Huntsville Hospital, and anyone wanting to be tested must first get a “physician order” to be tested, according to Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers, joining Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile in communities with testing.
- Spillers would also like to remind people that if you don’t have symptoms you don’t need to be tested. Currently, they have about 400 test kits, and Spillers is confident that they’ll be able to continue supplying tests as needed.
2. Not everyone is going to get money
- While speaking on the floor of the Senate, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) discussed the stimulus package being considered to send $1,200 to adult Americans, saying that the money would go to people no matter if they’re already receiving social security benefits, employed or unemployed.
- The only people who would miss out on a check from the government would be those above the middle class, but everyone “from the middle class on down” would receive financial help. McConnell emphasized that this is something they “want to do right away.”
1. Ivey trying to flatten the curve with strict rules
- Governor Kay Ivey has announced that in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, there’s now a Public Health Order that prohibits gatherings of more than 25 people, eating or drinking in the dining room of bars and restaurants, and all elective medical procedures are to be delayed.
- Also included in the order is the closing of all daycares and preschools and ending of visitation to hospitals and nursing homes. Ivey said, “[W]e want to ensure that Alabama is doing our part to flatten the curve.”
7 Things: Jones and Shelby vote for huge stimulus, Ivey delays elections, Alabama economy gets pounded and more …
7. Sessions campaigning on law enforcement endorsements
- During a news conference, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was endorsed by law enforcement officials from coastal Alabama. Sessions said, “I do love the law enforcement community and respect it and understand the challenges they operate under and I know the dangers they face on a daily basis.”
- Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich discussed their endorsement of Sessions, saying that they’re confident Sessions will support “prosecuting criminals and to make our communities a better place.” However, Sessions has said his campaign is evaluating if they’ll continue campaigning while restrictions for the coronavirus are in place.
6. Bernie Sanders is done but not officially
- U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) 2020 Democratic presidential campaign has come to an end with the campaign saying they’re suspending to evaluate their future this election cycle. They also stopped their Facebook ads and are no longer seeking donations.
- Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir said that instead, Sanders “is focused on the government response to the coronavirus outbreak and ensuring that we take care of working people and the most vulnerable.”
5. Alabama beaches are still open
- With the number of coronavirus cases in the state growing, Governor Kay Ivey has said that closing Alabama beaches is “under consideration.”
- With many college students going on spring break vacations, pictures of crowded beaches have been circulating on the internet, but Ivey said that if a move is made, it’ll be announced “at a later date.”
4. Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act
- While at a press conference, President Donald Trump announced that he’s invoking the Defense Production Act to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, saying, “It can do a lot of good things if we need it.”
- The act allows the increase in the manufacturing and distribution of medical supplies, which includes expanding hospital capacity and producing masks, respirators and ventilators. There is now talk of Ford and GM potentially producing some of the needed items.
3. Automotive plants pausing production in Alabama, everywhere else
- Hyundai, Honda and Toyota have decided to pause production at their Alabama plants after an employee at the Montgomery Hyundai plant tested positive for the coronavirus. Mercedes-Benz continues operating, and Honda and Toyota employees will continue getting paid. Hyundai employees will not be getting paid.
- Across the state and the country, jobs are being lost at an alarming rate. With that, Alabama’s unemployment rates will be up a lot. Other states are seeing the same thing.
2. Runoff postponed until July
- Governor Kay Ivey has decided that the best move would be to postpone the Alabama primary runoff until July 14 due to the coronavirus pandemic instead of holding the runoff on March 31.
- Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill had previously requested the runoff be postponed and Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall confirmed that postponing would be legal while Alabama is under a State of Emergency.
1. Jones and Shelby support coronavirus response funding
- The U.S. Senate has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to make billions of dollars available for relief for those impacted by the coronavirus and respond to the virus. Both U.S. Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Doug Jones (D-AL) voted in favor of the legislation.
- The measure will help provide financial assistance for family and medical leave, will increase food benefits and unemployment and give more ability to help small businesses. The legislative package now goes to President Donald Trump to be approved; Shelby said that while there’s still a lot to do, “this is a step in the right direction.”
7 Things: Huge stimulus coming, Alabama runoff election can be postponed, Ivey wants restaurants closed and more …
7. Biden trounces Bernie, Bernie stays in the race
- Former Vice President Joe Biden, the favorite for the Democratic presidential primary, took another couple of steps towards securing the nomination by blowing out U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in Florida, Illinois and Arizona in elections that saw big turnout in spite of the coronavirus.
- Sanders has still refused to drop out as pressure and the delegate gap grows with his campaign co-chair Nina Turner saying, “I want the senator to stay in,” adding, “I think other voters have a right to have a choice. This is not a coronation. We know what happened last time in 2016 — it gave us Donald J. Trump.”
6. State liquor stores are closing
- Due to the coronavirus, the Alabama Beverage Control (ABC) board has decided to close 78 stores across the state.
- Any ABC stores that stay open will reduce their hours to 12:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., and there will only be five customers allowed in the store at a time. Customers will also not be allowed to go through the store freely. Instead, employees will retrieve products for them.
5. SEC has canceled all spring sports
- For the rest of the athletic year, SEC sports competitions will be canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Schools won’t be allowed to hold practices, meetings or football pro days.
- SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said, “This is a difficult day for all of us, and I am especially disappointed for our student-athletes.” The SEC baseball tournament that’s been held in Hoover since 1998 has about a $15 million economic impact on the Birmingham area every year.
4. American media carries China’s water, China kicks them out
- The American media continues to attempt to police the language of President Donald Trump and others who accurately reference the Chinese source of the coronavirus pandemic, even though they did the exact same thing.
- To thank these dutiful scribes, the Communist Chinese government is now booting American journalists from such prestigious outlets like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post from the country for what they called “entirely necessary and reciprocal countermeasures” in response to the Trump administration demanding they cut their state-run staff doing propaganda in the United States.
3. Ivey suggests Birmingham close restaurants
- With the number of coronavirus cases in Alabama increasing and a majority of them being in Jefferson County, Governor Kay Ivey is suggesting that Birmingham restaurants close their dining rooms for at least a week.
- Ivey has also said that restaurants in Tuscaloosa, Walker, Blount, Shelby and St. Clair Counties close restaurants as well, only leaving drive-thru and take out as dining options. The Alabama Department of Public Health is urging the rest of the state to consider following these guidelines.
2. State of Emergency could postpone the U.S. Senate runoff
- The U.S. Senate runoff between former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville is set to take place on March 31, but Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said that the State of Emergency issued by Governor Kay Ivey could postpone the runoff.
- Secretary of State John Merrill has previously requested that the vote be postponed if legally possible due to the coronavirus pandemic. While Ivey can postpone the vote during a State of Emergency, it’s yet to be announced if she actually will.
1. Bipartisan support for trillion-dollar stimulus
- The Trump administration, Republicans and Democrats in Congress are all in agreement that massive economic stimulus is needed to keep the economy afloat as we continue to deal with the coronavirus outbreak with some suggesting that every American household receives a check within the next two weeks.
- But wait, there is more: Multiple industries, including the hotel, energy and restaurant industries are clamoring for a government bailout with the airline industry declaring the coronavirus’ impact to be worse than 9/11.
7 Things: States weigh delaying elections, Trump reassures the nation amid pandemic, no issues with coronavirus testing in Alabama and more …
7. Sending everyone money to help financial burdens during crisis
- U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) called on Congress to “immediately” give every adult American $1,000, saying this needs to be done to “help families and small businesses meet their short-term financial obligations, ease the financial burden on students entering the workforce, and protect health workers on the front lines and their patients by improving telehealth services.”
- It’s been pointed out that this proposal is very similar to Andrew Yang’s Universal Basic Income plan to give every adult American $1,000 per month, but Romney’s measure would just be temporary.
6. Club for Growth endorses Tuberville
- In the U.S. Senate runoff between former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville, the Club for Growth has decided to endorse Tuberville.
- Club for Growth President David McIntosh said that they’re siding with President Donald Trump in this endorsement because he thinks “both of them can win.” He added, [B]ut I think if Trump is not fully on board it becomes harder. And he’s made it clear that Tuberville is his pick.”
5. Democrats more worried about the coronavirus than Republicans
- In an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll about concern over the coronavirus, Democrats were distinctively more worried about the virus’ severity and a family member getting sick.
- Only 40% of Republicans said they were concerned a family member would contract the virus, whereas 68% of Democrats said the same. Also, 80% of Democrats said the virus wasn’t at its worst yet, compared to 40% of Republicans. The poll found 81% of Republicans are confident in how President Donald Trump has handled the coronavirus outbreak, but only 13% of Democrats approve.
4. Many Alabama cities are under a State of Emergency
- Montgomery declared a local state of emergency two days ago and now Mayor Randall Woodfin has declared a state of emergency for Birmingham due to the 17 cases of coronavirus in Jefferson County. Woodfin is requesting they there be no gatherings larger than 25 people.
- Huntsville City Council approved Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle’s declaration of a State of Emergency as well. Battle says it will cut red tape, adding the declaration is so his administration “can respond quickly” to issues that arise.
3. ADPH urges caution, says testing isn’t an issue
- Alabama Department of Public Health’s Dr. Scott Harris held a press conference where he addressed the state of the coronavirus in Alabama, saying that more than half of the cases are in Jefferson county.
- Harris encouraged social distancing with no gatherings of more than 50 people and staying at least six feet away from strangers. Harris also asked that people who aren’t showing symptoms “avoid getting tested.” He went on to emphasize that there are no capacity issues with testing.
2. Trump has announced guidelines to slow coronavirus spread
- President Donald Trump said we will come out of this crisis “stronger than ever” as he spoke at a briefing about the coronavirus pandemic where he admitted that the virus could cause issues into July and August. The president added he’s confident that “we can turn the corner and turn it quickly” to slow the spread of the coronavirus in 15 days.
- The guidelines were to not gather in groups larger than 10 people, older people should stay indoors and avoid other people, work from home if you can, don’t go out to bars or restaurants, and “avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.” Trump said, “We will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus.”
1. Elections in Ohio are suspended, Alabama elections may be next
- A judge rejecting the governor of Ohio’s attempt to delay the state’s primary election didn’t stop the state from doing it anyway by using a directive by the state’s health director to get around the judge’s order. Notices have been posted on websites, social media and at polling places to tell people the presidential primary was canceled.
- Rumors indicate that Governor Kay Ivey is considering acting to move Alabama’s March 31 election after Secretary of State John Merrill indicated he would like to see the election moved in a press release Sunday. The release stated, “The health and well-being of the people of this state are of paramount importance. In order to effectively practice social distancing, as recommended by the President of the United States, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the Alabama Department of Public Health, etc., the March 31 Runoff Election must be postponed.”
7 Things: Schools closing across Alabama, state employees working from home, Trump doesn’t have the coronavirus and more …
7. Michael Cohen wants to send prisoners home
- Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney who is serving a three-year sentence for bank and tax fraud, has been sharing a petition to release prisoners and place them under house arrest amid the coronavirus outbreak, but the petition only applies to federal non-violent offenders.
- The petition says that federal prisons aren’t equipped to deal with the coronavirus. It has only gained about 1,500 signatures.
6. Tuberville says he never would’ve recused himself
- Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville has been going after former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate runoff, and now he’s saying that Sessions did the wrong thing by recusing himself. Tuberville says it is something he never would’ve done.
- Tuberville on Alabama Public Television compared the Sessions recusal to a quarterback taking “a knee in the first quarter,” adding that Sessions “turned over that witch hunt to 200-300 lawyers, liberal lawyers and sicced them on President Trump.” Tuberville said that he’d “never done that, I promise you that because I know where we are at in this country, and we are losing daily to socialism.”
5. NRA and Ann Coulter endorse Sessions
- Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has received the hefty endorsement of the National Rifle Association in the U.S. Senate runoff against former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville sighting his long record of supporting the Second Amendment.
- Conservative commentator Ann Coulter also is supporting Sessions, saying, “There are very few Republicans in all of Washington who care about you, Alabamians.” She added, “And those few Republicans who actually do want to put America first include the great Mo Brooks and the great Jeff Sessions.”
4. Trump tests negative for coronavirus
- The White House has released the results of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus test after a few people that Trump has come into contact with recently were diagnosed with the illness, but Trump tested negative.
- Despite being around people who tested positive for the coronavirus, Trump has remained symptom-free after initially resisting being tested due to not showing symptoms. The coronavirus has infected more than 3,774 people nationally and killed 69 people.
3. Alabama law might not allow changes to election day
- Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill says he would like to postpone the March 31 primary election runoff, but he is noting that Alabama law makes that unlikely. He has sought an immediate opinion from Attorney General Steve Marshall on this matter.
- New York and other states are working to change their election days. Some states, like Georgia and Louisiana, have already done so.
2. State employees can work from home
- Governor Kay Ivey has allowed agencies to have state employees work from home to encourage the practice of social distancing.
- Departments that deal with public safety or emergency services will continue working. Ivey said, “While out of the office, please continue the practice of sound hygiene and social distancing.”
1. Schools across the state closing
- With 22 coronavirus cases in Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey has instructed all Pre-K through 12th-grade schools to close after school on Wednesday, but many school systems are choosing to close after school on Monday instead.
- Concerns over feeding students are rampant across the state and country, which means that there are large numbers of parents in America that are not feeding their kids regularly. So, parents are essentially neglecting their kids, and it is not being reported.
VIDEO: Coronavirus, Trump jumps into the Senate race, Biden the frontrunner and more on Alabama Politics This Week
Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:
— Will President Donald Trump be able to do anything right with the coronavirus in the eyes of the media?
— Will life shut down in Alabama over the coronavirus?
— How did Democrats end up with former Vice President Joe Biden as their nominee?
Jackson and Handback are joined by Alabama House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) to discuss medical marijuana, the coronavirus and more.
Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at those who claim they don’t want businesses participating in politics until those businesses start pushing for things they want.
Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.
7 Things: Ivey signs $5 million in spending to battle coronavirus, daily life disrupted statewide, medical marijuana passes Alabama Senate and more …
7. Alabama Forestry Association endorses Sessions
- Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has received the endorsement for U.S. Senate from the Alabama Forestry Association as the runoff between Sessions and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville gets closer.
- AFA Executive Vice President Chris Isaacson said Sessions “served the people of Alabama in this seat for 20 years.” He added, “He effectively represented the people of Alabama’s interest and values then and we feel confident that he will do the same again.”
6. Another person with coronavirus was around the president
- Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro is being monitored for the coronavirus due to his communications secretary being diagnosed with the disease just after they visited Mar-A-Lago with President Donald Trump.
- Trump was with Bolsonaro on Saturday to discuss economic issues and Venezuela, and now there are plans to test Bolsonaro and others who traveled with him for coronavirus.
5. Alabama colleges and universities are moving online
- Many schools are planning to move to online courses over the next couple of weeks. Some schools like the University of Alabama in Huntsville and Auburn University will start Monday. Others, like the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will extend spring break until March 29 and then go to online courses.
- Jacksonville State University is moving to online courses Friday because they have a student currently being tested for coronavirus, but Alabama still has zero confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state.
4. Medical marijuana has passed the Senate
- The medical marijuana bill by State Senator Tim Melson (R-Florence) has passed the Alabama State Senate 22-11 over the objection of State Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur), who argued for multiple failed amendments to limit the maximum daily dosage allowed, limit THC, shorten the list of conditions for use and to make it unlawful for people to drive with THC in their system.
- This moves Alabama closer to becoming the 34th state to legalize some form of medical marijuana, but opponents of the bill, and there are many in the Alabama State House, argue the drug is still illegal federally and that this has not changed.
3. More cancellations and closings coming
- The number of events canceled or altered because of the coronavirus continues to grow. The NCAA’s basketball tournaments have all been canceled, the NHL season has been suspended, MLB has canceled Spring Training and postponed the start of the season and NASCAR will be racing in front of empty seats. All of this will cause a ripple effect for the communities where these events are held and for the people who work them.
- In Alabama, the Rocket City Trash Pandas’ inaugural season is delayed, St. Patrick Day parades are canceled and concerts have been canceled or delayed across the state, but the worst could be yet to come as multiple states have closed schools completely.
2. Still no confirmed coronavirus in Alabama
- Much to the chagrin of some of Alabama’s most horrible people, Alabama is still without a confirmed coronavirus case, and even though there seems to be some who want to echo the “there is no testing” lie they hear on TV, that is just not true.
- State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris stated, “We fully expect in the coming days we will find cases but at this time we don’t have them,” He added, “I suspect there are people who are infected that we have not picked up at this point. Remember, 80 percent of the people who are infected don’t have serious symptoms.”
1. Alabama Senate passes coronavirus funding
- The supplemental bill sponsored by State Representative Steve Clouse (R-Ozark) and State Senator Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) was presented to the Alabama Senate as a substitute bill by State Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) to supply funding for the coronavirus.
- The bill passed with a 29-0 vote to provide $5 million to the Alabama Department of Health to combat the coronavirus and the Alabama House approved the bill quickly to send it to Governor Kay Ivey. She signed the measure Thursday afternoon.
7 Things: Trump addresses nation about the coronavirus, Trump endorsement could move the needle in the Alabama U.S. Senate race, Alabama prepares for coronavirus and more …
7. NCAA starts shutting down tournaments as coronavirus panic continues
- As the World Health Organization refers to the coronavirus outbreak as a “pandemic,” which the media has been doing for weeks, more big gatherings, festivals, classes, parades and other events will now not be happening.
- The NCAA Basketball Tournament and various conference tournaments, including the Southeastern Conference after initially resisting, have now all announced they are not allowing crowds.
6. “Born-alive” bill approved by State House committee
- The bill by State Representative Ginny Shaver (R-Leesburg) that would protect babies that survive attempted abortions and require doctors to give them proper medical attention has been approved by the Alabama House Judiciary Committee.
- Shaver has explained, “There is no such thing as a post-birth abortion. … That’s infanticide.” But State Representatives Merika Coleman (D-Birmingham) and Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa) have taken issue with the bill because they’re yet to see a need for this kind of legislation in Alabama. England argued that women and doctors are “demonized” in the bill.
5. Businesses don’t like a bill, so the media likes them now
- A group of 40 businesses, including some with ties to Alabama, signed a letter in opposition to the bill in Alabama that would make it illegal for doctors to prescribe hormone blockers to transgender minors.
- The letter is also against other legislation across the nation, and says that this legislation “would harm our team members ad their families, stripping them of opportunities and make them feel unwelcome and at risk in their own communities.”
4. Sanders to keep going
- Despite his second big loss in the U.S. Democratic presidential primary, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has said that he will continue his campaign and do “everything in my power” to beat President Donald Trump.
- Sanders also directed attention toward former Vice President Joe Biden indicating that Biden only has the “older” vote, and he needs “to win the voters who represent the future of our country and you must speak to the issues of concern to them.”
3. Ivey puts out protocols for government agencies for the coronavirus outbreak
- In preparation for a yet-to-happen coronavirus outbreak in Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey has released protocols for government agencies to follow. Most of them are very similar to what the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has already released.
- Ivey has also said that departments all need to make sure they are able to continue on with business and that while there are no cases in Alabama, “we must be vigilant in our efforts to be as prepared as possible should this illness affect our state.”
2. No surprise that the Trump endorsement matters
- A Club for Growth poll shows that President Donald Trump’s endorsement of former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville may have just made a huge difference in the Alabama 2020 U.S. Senate race against former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
- In the poll, with Trump endorsing Tuberville 58% of voters picked Tuberville, 34% of people picked Sessions and 8% remained undecided, but Sessions has responded to the endorsement saying that he’ll always support the Trump agenda. He added, “We are Alabama. Nobody tells us how to vote or what to do.”
1. Trump lays out coronavirus plan in address to the nation
- President Donald Trump addressed the nation last night to attempt to comfort a nation spooked by a coronavirus outbreak by announcing a European travel ban, United Kingdom excluded, an attempt to create an economic stimulus plan that will calm the panic we are seeing in the market and slow the damage to the economy, a plan for paid sick leave and target small business loans to help cope with the coming fallout.
- Trump sought to comfort the nation by adding, “History has proven time and time again, Americans always rise to the challenge and overcome adversity.” However, the cat is out of the bag and we are in a full-blown panic.
7 Things: Trump endorses Tuberville, events start to get shut down over the coronavirus, Joe Biden closes in on the Democratic nomination and more …
7. Alabama prisons are planning for coronavirus
- The Alabama Department of Corrections said that its officials are working with Governor Kay Ivey’s coronavirus task force to prepare by following guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alabama Department of Public Health.
- ADOC spokeswoman Samantha Rose said they’re “taking proactive steps to protect the health and well-being of inmates and staff, including the distribution of educational information on prevention and intervention as well as screening inmates for signs and symptoms of the disease, as recommended by the ADPH.”
6. Lottery bill proposed has 70+ co-sponsors
- A bill that would amend Alabama’s Constitution to allow for a state lottery has a ton of support in the Alabama State House. It is co-sponsored by House Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia), Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville), Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) and over 70 other members of the House, which makes its passage in that body almost inevitable.
- The big question about dog tracks and Indian gaming remains because the bill specifies the types of gambling that the bill does not allow, which is “any form of video lottery or the use of video lottery terminal or any mobile, Internet-based, monitor-based interactive game, or any simulated casino-style game, including slot machines, video poker, roulette, blackjack, or any variant of prohibited games”
5. Monument Preservation Act debate gets heated
- As Alabama’s House of Representatives debated an updated bill that would stop local municipalities from tearing down any monuments, although Confederate monuments are the focus, a legislator decided to bring a rope to the floor to tie, as he put it, the bill to the falsely accused black men.
- State Senator Rodger Smitherman (D-Birmingham) was objecting to the updated bill that would change the penalty for violating the law from a $25,000 fine to a $5,000 per day fee that the locality must pay.
4. Trump’s incentives helping despite coronavirus concerns
- After the stock market took a hit due to concerns about the coronavirus outbreak, President Donald Trump backed “very substantial relief” for the significant areas of the economy that took a hit. The incentives caused the market to make a comeback.
- Trump said, “We are going to take care of, and have been taking care of, the American public and the American economy.” However, the particulars are far from certain.
3. Biden the presumptive Democrat nominee
- Former Vice President Joe Biden was the big winner on Tuesday with delegate-rich wins in Michigan and Mississippi. He now holds a seemingly insurmountable lead of at least 150 delegates over U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
- With Biden as the presumptive frontrunner, the media and their Democrats will now rally around him by calling for Sanders to drop out and end this campaign to protect Biden from himself and not force him to debate on Sunday.
2. Events being canceled across the country, including Alabama
- Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin has decided to suspend “non-essential travel” for city employees due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, Hunstville saw the 2020 Global Force Symposium & Exposition by the Association of the United States Army canceled, and there are rumblings of official travel from Redstone Arsenal being canceled with reports of teleworking being implemented as well.
- College campuses, music festivals, sporting events are being canceled or postponed, with more to come. Washington State has issued an order banning large gatherings just like they have in California, and the state of New York now has a containment area set up.
1. Trump endorses Tuberville
- At 8:54 p.m. Tuesday night, President Donald Trump tossed his full-throated support behind former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville’s campaign in the form of a tweet, saying, “Tommy Tuberville (@TTuberville) is running for the U.S. Senate from the Great State of Alabama. Tommy was a terrific head football coach at Auburn University. He is a REAL LEADER who will never let MAGA/KAG, or our Country, down! Tommy will protect your Second Amendment….”
- Both campaigns are releasing polls showing the race in the best possible light for their candidate. Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session’s Senate campaign polling shows a 45-45 tie while Tuberville’s camp’s latest numbers show Tuberville with a 52-40 lead.
7 Things: Tuberville turns down U.S. Senate debate, tourism in Alabama could suffer even with no coronavirus in the state, Brooks wants Congress to keep working and more …
7. Alabama city councilman arrested after wife’s death
- Robert Perry Warren, a Carbon Hill city councilman, has been arrested and charged with manslaughter after the death of his wife Lisa Warren. Robert Warren claimed that during an argument with his wife, he “lost his temper and pushed (his wife) backwards causing (her) to fall and strike her head.”
- He reported his wife missing on February 25, and it wasn’t until this past weekend that her body was found in a creek. Warren was arrested and his bond was set at $250,000. He has been deemed a “danger to the community and to himself.”
6. U.S. Highway 231 repair timeline to be announced this week
- ALDOT has scheduled a public meeting for Thursday to address the future plans for the damaged portion of U.S. Highway 231 in Arab to announce how long it’ll take until the road is repaired.
- Currently, there is excavation work that will have to continue for at least two months before the repairs even start. It’s estimated that the road being closed has impacted about 15,000 vehicles every day.
5. People are scared of the coronavirus
- With COVID-19 spreading across the country, a new Quinnipiac University poll shows that 54% of people are concerned about the virus, but 45% remain unconcerned. However, 58% of people are concerned that the outbreak will disrupt their daily lives.
- Of those who responded to the poll, Democrats were concerned about the virus while Republicans were not concerned about the virus. Two-thirds of respondents are confident in how the U.S. health care system and the government is responding to the virus.
4. Congress could go into recess over virus fears
- After U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and U.S. Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) have had to self-quarantine after coming into contact with a COVID-19 patient at CPAC, there is now talk that Congress could go into recess due to the virus.
- U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) said that “there appears to be some serious concerns in Washington to the point where we ought to shut down Congress, and that’s just the wrong message.” There is no official word yet on when or for how long a potential recess would be.
3. There’s still no coronavirus in Alabama
- There have been cases of COVID-19 reported in Tennessee, Georgia and Florida, but there are still no cases in Alabama, even though there have been 20 people tested so far, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
- Across the United States, about 729 people have tested positive for the coronavirus and 27 people have died across at least 35 states.
2. Alabama tourism could be impacted by the coronavirus
- Alabama Tourism Department Director Lee Sentell has responded to the U.S. State Department’s warning about traveling during the COVID-19 outbreak, saying that warning unfairly targeted a “specific segment of our travel industry.”
- The State Department warned about traveling by cruise ship due to an increased risk of the virus on cruises. Sentell said that people already understand the risk of traveling, stating, “They don’t need the State Department to make choices for them.” He added that it’s the responsibility of the government “to contain and wipe out this epidemic rather than to target a single mode of transportation.”
1. Tuberville turns down U.S. Senate debate; New polling shows he leads
- Former Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville doesn’t seem interested in debating former Attorney General Senator Jeff Sessions on Nextstar TV stations, with Sessions saying that Tuberville is “afraid” and adding that it raises questions about “standing up to Chuck Schumer.”
- A new poll by Cygnal shows Tuberville leading Sessions 51.5% to 39.5% with 9% undecided. Trump is playing a big role in this according to Brent Buchanan, Cygnal’s CEO & founder, who said, “Now that Trump has gotten involved, it’s unlikely the former attorney general will be able to overcome the gap in how voters see Tuberville’s as more strongly favorable. Trump may not be able to pull a candidate across the finish line, but he sure can keep a candidate from getting there first.”
7 Things: Tuberville leads polling, Sanders questions Biden’s health after more stumbles, Alabama sheriff’s trial delayed over coronavirus concerns and more …
7. Harris endorses Biden
- U.S. Senator Kamala Harris’ (D-CA) presidential campaign ended in December, but she’s back in the spotlight for endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden, saying, “There is no one better prepared than Joe to steer our nation through these turbulent times, and restore truth, honor, and decency to the Oval Office.” This endorsement comes after Harries implied earlier in the campaign that Biden’s failure to support busing was racist.
- Harris also stated that the country “is at an inflection point.” She added, “And the decision voters make this November will shape the country and the world our children and grandchildren grow up in.” Harris is the latest former candidate to voice support for Biden, joining former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
6. Stutts thinks medical marijuana committee could be easily corrupted
- State Senator Larry Stutts (R-Cherokee) has voiced his concerns about medical marijuana coming to Alabama, specifically discussing the potential for corruption on the committee.
- Stutts mentioned how there are “11 people that control marijuana” based on what the bill states, adding, “The bill specifies they’re going to give out 34 licenses for dispensaries around the state.” He also said that the bill provides “potential for growing government, raising taxes, and the potential for abuse of that system is just astronomical.”
5. Time to separate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Robert E. Lee Day?
- State Senator Vivian Figures (D-Mobile) is sponsoring a bill that would make Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Robert E. Lee Day separate holidays. Figures argued that State Representative Steve McMillan (R-Gulf Shores) has been working with her on the legislation.
- Figures said that separating the holidays “is the right thing to do,” mentioning how they “were two men with totally different agendas, beliefs and goals.” The bill would propose putting Robert E. Lee Day on the second Monday in October, which is also Columbus Day.
4. Conceal carry permits are about funding, not safety
- State Representative Andrew Sorrell (R-Muscle Shoals) discussed the idea of getting rid of the concealed carry permit in Alabama at the Shoals Republican Club meeting where he expressed his opposition to the current system.
- Sorrell referenced a time when a list of those who had a concealed carry permit in New York was published by a media outlet, and said that there isn’t a need for a database of people who conceal carry, but argued what “law enforcement needs is a database of criminals.” He pointed out his distrust in the argument of public safety, saying, “This garbage you hear about how it is all about public safety — it’s not about public safety. Permits are and always have been about the money.”
3. No one thought Sheriff Blakely had the coronavirus
- Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely was hospitalized for respiratory issues and thus has had his trial delayed for one week by Circuit Judge N. Pride Tompkins, but jurors for the trial will still report to the courthouse Monday.
- Blakely’s attorneys claimed that the sheriff was being tested for COVID-19, but Dr. Maria Acelajado Onoyo of Athens Limestone Hospital said that Blakely wasn’t tested for the coronavirus, stating, “He would not be a person suspected to have COVID-19.” Blakely was tested for other viruses like the flu and pneumonia.
2. Sanders thinks Biden wants a sit-down debate due to his health
- According to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, former Vice President Joe Biden wants the format of the March 15 debate to be a sit-down due to his declining cognitive ability and stamina. Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said, “We will participate in whatever debate CNN chooses to stage: standing sitting, at podiums or in a town hall.”
- The media is rallying around Biden and declaring these concerns out of bounds, despite their own reporting and the obvious concerns that have somewhat been confirmed by Obama’s doctor, Dr. David Scheiner, who said that Biden isn’t “in bad shape for his age” but he isn’t exactly “in outstanding health.” He added Biden “has a lot of issues that are just sort of sitting there.”
1. Poll shows Tuberville leading in Alabama’s Republican U.S. Senate race
- In the first poll released after Super Tuesday, former Auburn football head coach Tommy Tuberville holds a lead over former Attorney General and U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions with 22 days to go in the race to see who gets to take on U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in November.
- WT&S Consulting’s poll shows Tuberville has the lead but both candidates are under 50%. Tuberville is close with 49.4%, Sessions has 42.7% and 7.9% are currently undecided.
VIDEO: Tuberville vs. Sessions, Super Tuesday, Biden takes control and more on Alabama Politics This Week
Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:
— Who is the frontrunner in the Republican U.S. Senate primary?
— Why did Biden win by such a large margin in Alabama?
— Do pistol permits actually make police safer, or is it a revenue issue?
Jackson and Handback are joined by Amy Wasyluka, president of Alabama Democratic Women to discuss Super Tuesday, 2020 and the state of the Alabama Democratic Party.
Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at those who claimed victory over Amendment One, even though there are no real plans to improve Alabama’s education system.
Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.
7 Things: Jones blames Trump for Schumer’s attack on judges, Alabama executes a murderer, Alabama hospitals concerned about the coronavirus and more …
7. Pistol permit repeal approved by committee
- The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the bill sponsored by State Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) that would eliminate the requirement for a concealed carry permit.
- Those who have voiced support for the bill have pointed out that there shouldn’t be a requirement to get permission to execute your Second Amendment rights, but Sheriffs Derrick Cunningham and Jay Jones have voice opposition to the bill, noting that the pistol permits are an important tool for law enforcement. The fees that accompany those permits are also utilized to help support sheriffs’ operations.
6. Trump policies are working
- Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have said that because of President Donald Trump’s work on illegal immigration, more illegal aliens are being removed from the country instead of just being apprehended and released.
- In May 2019, there were 80,000 illegal immigrants released within the United States, but by January 2020, there were only 2,000. Deputy Commissioner Robert Perez said, “It’s because of this president that we now have more tools than we’ve ever had before to do our job. It’s just a fact. The importance of Trump’s changes couldn’t be overstated.”
5. Warren is out and hasn’t endorsed Sanders or Biden yet
- U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has announced the end of her 2020 Democratic presidential campaign after doing poorly on Super Tuesday, which leaves U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Vice President Joe Biden as the only legitimate candidates in the race.
- While every candidate that’s dropped out of the race quickly named who they were endorsing, Warren said “not today” when asked if she’d announce who she plans to endorse, further highlighting the problem that the problem with her campaign is that everything seemed to be calculated and reactive as opposed to authentic.
4. Bill that prevents minors from receiving hormone blockers passed by Senate
- The bill by State Senator Shay Shelnutt (R-Trussville) that would make it illegal for doctors to prescribe hormone treatments to minors who identify as transgender has passed in the Alabama Senate with a vote of 22-3.
- Shelnutt has previously said that he doesn’t think “kids should be given experimental drugs or surgeries that could have irreversible consequences for the rest of their life.” State Senator Vivian Figures (D-Mobile) has voiced opposition to the bill, arguing that this should be a decision between parents and their children.
3. Media outraged man responsible for three murders faces his sentence
- Nathaniel Woods was executed Thursday for his obvious role in the death of three law enforcement officers in 2004. Alabama law allows those involved in the original crime that leads to a death to be charged in the death, which has been held up by the courts multiple times.
- AL.com’s John Archibald whined about being “too silent” on men being killed by the state, and after the execution was carried out, Alabama Political Reporter Josh Moon embarrassed himself and his outlet by declaring on Twitter, “Nathaniel Woods has been murdered by the state of Alabama.”
2. Alabama hospitals making statements because of the coronavirus
- There aren’t actually any coronavirus cases in Alabama, but the second-largest hospital in the state has announced that it’ll be limiting patient visitation due to concerns over the virus as there have been cases reported in Georgia, Florida and Tennessee.
- This comes one day after the hospital at the University of Alabama-Birmingham sent a tweet responding to rumors that there were coronavirus patients on their grounds. It said, “While UAB is trained & prepared to safely isolate and care for patients with infectious diseases, there are no known cases of COVID-19 in Alabama at this time.”
1. Doug Jones defends Schumer and tries to blame Trump
- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently made comments toward U.S. Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch that they “have released the whirlwind” and they “will pay the price” for how they vote on a high profile abortion case. U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) called the comments “inappropriate,” but added that “people who know Chuck know he was not threatening violence of any type.”
- Jones went on to say that he’s more “concerned” with how President Donald Trump “has made various attacks on the independence of the judiciary,” which Schumer did as well, but Jones is “just not from a constitutional standpoint very happy with anybody who starts doing what they say that appears to be an attack on the independence of the judiciary.”
7 Things: Trump looks like he will play in Alabama’s U.S. Senate race, Shelby secures $7.8 billion for coronavirus, Bloomberg latest to back Biden and more …
7. AOC-candidates lose big
- Progressive wannabee politicians who aligned themselves with U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) found themselves looking at big losses on Tuesday, dealing another blow to their attempt to take over the Democratic Party from “establishment.”
- Predictably, they are not taking this well. Fellow “Squad” member U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) took to Twitter to rant about progressives not consolidating. She tweeted, “That’s what we should be analyzing. I feel confident a united progressive movement would have allowed for us to #BuildTogether and win MN and other states we narrowly lost. “
6. Coleman-Moore runoff in District 2
- The runoff is now set for the race to replace U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) with businessman Jeff Coleman and former State Representative Barry Moore (R-Enterprise), who fought off Jessica Taylor and former Attorney General Troy King for second place.
- Coleman presumably starts the runoff with not only a huge lead, finishing with 28% of the vote to Coleman’s 20%, but also a massive funding advantage because he has shown he is willing to self-fund his campaign and has drawn comparisons between himself and President Donald Trump.
5. Alabama has a lot of hot job markets
- In rankings that were published by the Wall Street Journal and Glassdoor, Birmingham was recognized as having one of the country’s hottest job markets.
- Birmingham was ranked 12th on the Wall Street Journal’s list and 8th on Glassdoor’s. In a separate list by the Wall Street Journal of 328 metro areas with less than 1,000,000 people, Huntsville placed 17th and Decatur placed 19th.
4. Schumer threatened judges over abortion
- During a rally outside of the Supreme Court, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) threatened Trump’s justice nominees that they would pay the price if they voted to restrict abortion access.
- Schumer issued a warning to Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, saying, “You have released a whirlwind and you will pay the price! You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.” After criticisms and a rebuke from Chief Justice John Roberts, Schumer’s office tried to clarify that “the justices will unleash a major grassroots movement on the issue of reproductive rights against the decision.”
3. Bloomberg is out as Biden continues to gain steam
- Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has decided to end his 2020 Democratic presidential campaign and has endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden.
- Just before Super Tuesday, Biden received endorsements from former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) when they ended their campaigns, as well.
2. Shelby works to obtain $7.767 billion that is going to the coronavirus
- U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) has announced that a funding agreement for responding to the coronavirus outbreak has been reached at $7.767 billion.
- Shelby said, “This shouldn’t be about politics; this is about doing our job to protect the American people.” President Donald Trump is expected to approve the funding as early as this week.
1. Reactions to Trump’s slam on Sessions are predictable
- Wednesday, Trump shared the results of the Alabama primary on Twitter, slamming his former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He stated, “This is what happens to someone who loyally gets appointed Attorney General of the United States & then doesn’t have the wisdom or courage to stare down & end the phony Russia Witch Hunt. Recuses himself on FIRST DAY in office, and the Mueller Scam begins!”
- The glee from the American media at this slam was obvious as headlines noted how Trump “attacks,” “mocks,” “trolls,” “rips” and “tears” into Sessions after he failed to avoid a runoff in the Republican U.S. Senate primary.